SP 2010: PSCONFIG fails with missing security updates that are actually installed

Problem: Customer was trying to run SharePoint Technologies and Configuration wizard (PSCONFIG) to apply some patches to the farm. Although the binaries were already installed, PSCONFIG would fail with a message saying that the  some security patches were missing.

Troubleshooting: I looked in the PSCONFIG (Upgrade) logs and saw this: ”This upgrade session has been stopped. Possible causes include the process being terminated abruptly or the OS has rebooted. Please restart the upgrade again.” which was very strange because the server was not rebooted, PSCONFIG was failing for no reason. I had the customer run PSCONFIG via the stsadm command line: psconfig –cmd upgrade –wait –force –inplace b2b, but it still failed on that one server during the final step. Then we tried modifying the command by adding the noinstallcheck switch: PSConfig -cmd upgrade -inplace b2b -foce -cmd applicationcontent -install -cmd installfeatures -cmd installcheck –noninstallcheck, but it still failed, but this time we had the clue we needed in the PSCONFIG logs:

" syncUpgradeTimerJob: SPTIMERV4 is not running anymore. Return -1".
ERR - The exclusive inplace upgrader timer job failed

That means when during the upgrade, the SharePoint timer service was not starting when it needed to


  • run psconfig –cmd upgrade –inplace b2b –force –cmd installcheck –noinstallcheck
  • as soon as stsadm says ‘upgrading sharepoint products” (step 4 of 5) open a command prompt and force start the SharePoint timer service “net start SPTimerV4”
  • PSCONFIG succeeds!!!

Fight Comparison: This was a tag team effort